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Chicago, Ill., February 21, 2005 -- While many consumers say cost is a deterrent to buying long term care insurance, growing numbers of professionals suggest that the cost of premiums are an affordable alternative to the increasing cost of long term care.
"Premiums vary due to age and the type of policy, but most middle-income consumers can benefit from a long term care policy," said Scott Perry, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Chicago.
"Like other types of insurance, the younger and healthier you are when you buy, the less expensive the premiums," he said. "These premiums are still a bargain when faced with the costs of long term care."
According to the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), a 60-year old buying a policy with a two-year benefit period today would pay in premiums over a 25-year period about a tenth of what he could expect to pay for a two-year nursing home stay when he reaches age 85.
In addition, the non-profit Washington-based Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) reminds consumers that premiums of a qualified long term care plan are deductible from federal taxes if total medical expenses, including the premiums, exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income. Federal legislation now being considered, the "Health Care Tax Deduction Act of 2005" (H.R. 218), would make premiums of qualified plans tax deductible for everyone. As of 2004, 21 states had adopted state tax incentives for long term care insurance premiums.
As the nation's governors warn that the strain on public assistance programs, such as Medicaid,
is increasing (www.nga.org), "Baby Boomers" and "seniors" will need to carefully evaluate all their
options and plan for their long term care needs.
About Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. These products are distributed through a national network of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at www.bankers.com.
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